Torey Krug had plenty to be irked with midway through Thursday night’s tilt against the Flames at TD Garden.
The blueliner on the ice for another shorthanded goal against — Boston’s league-leading ninth goal relinquished on the man advantage — a byproduct of the usual fumbles in the offensive zone and passive play by B’s skaters hovering around Jaroslav Halak down the other end of the sheet.
“It get frustrating, you’re collecting minuses all the time,” Krug said postgame. “That’s part of the risk that we have with four forwards and a defenseman. Obviously, I’m a guy that likes to play the half-wall as well sometimes so we’re going to give up some stuff. That’s one that’s frustrating because we felt like we had numbers back and they get the puck in the crease and end up scoring a goal.”
At this point, Krug’s strengths and shortcomings have been well-documented. A maestro when given time and space in the offensive zone, Krug’s prowess with the puck on his stick and his aggressiveness has left him vulnerable at times to opposing counter rushes and stronger forwards in Boston’s zone.
The book has been out on the puck-moving defenseman for years now, but that doesn’t seem to be putting a dent into the production that he generates, year in and year out.
Despite missing 11 games due to injury this season, Krug is still on pace to become the sixth Bruins defenseman (and first since Ray Bourque in 1995-96) to notch 60-plus points in a single campaign.
Wielding a rocket of a shot from the blue line and great awareness when searching for seams on the a power play or on a rush down the ice, Krug has been Boston’s prototypical QB from the blue line for most of his six full seasons in Boston — averaging 46.6 points (and 20.2 points on the power play) per year since the 2013-14 campaign.
But if you ask Krug’s teammates, his greatest strength doesn’t lie in the tangible tools one sees during his shifts on a man advantage. Rather, it’s the ability to shake off a miscue and reward his team just minutes later with a highlight-reel move.
Look no further than the opening minute of the third period on Thursday, with Boston back on the power play and looking to build off of a slim 3-2 lead.